Debt is a monster. Tame it.

London ad agency ‘the minimart’ has launched (13 January) a £2m national advertising campaign for consumer debt relief company ClearDebt.

London ad agency ‘the minimart’ has launched (13 January) a £2m national advertising campaign for consumer debt relief company ClearDebt. The initial phase of the campaign includes press, poster and radio with TV to follow this spring and features the minimart’s creation, the ‘Debt Monster,’ a creature that exists solely to make the lives of people in debt miserable.

“To demonstrate our intention to shake our industry up and provide a service that vulnerable people can trust, we appointed the minimart to come up with a strategy that would de-stigmatize debt and shows how it can be controlled,” said Andrew Smith, Marketing Director of ClearDebt. “We are confident that this campaign will achieve that well.”

“Our consumer research led us to employ a commonly used psychotherapy technique,” said Ed Chilcott, Managing Partner of the minimart. “We found that people feel they need a positive way to confront and overcome internal issues, including debts. What seems to work well is visualising each problem as something tangible and then confronting that image head on.


“As a result of this research, we wrote the campaign to show debt materializing as a brutish, nine foot monster that, once tamed, is reduced to reluctantly doing the household chores by his master.”

The tag line ‘Debt is a Monster. Tame it’ is meant as a positive call to action inviting people, with ClearDebt’s help, to meet their debt problems head on and to gain control over and eventually solve them.

The press and poster ads show a woman at home relaxing while her tamed Debt Monster does the cleaning. The radio ads build on this idea and also feature a man telling his monster off for making a mess of his house.

The Debt Monster was brought to life by Oscar-winning creature maker Neal Scanlan, creator of animatronics puppets used in ‘Babe’ and ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.’ Scanlan initially built a 20 inch maquette to feature in the print portion of the campaign and is currently building the full nine-foot-tall version of the Debt Monster to star in the TV ads.

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